Friday, September 14, 2012

We've Moved!

The new blog can be found by clicking on this link! Please subscribe and enjoy!

Thanks for the Support and see you on the otherside!

David Vissers

Monday, January 30, 2012

Samurai Champloo

Hey all! I know it’s been a long two years, but I’m back with
a vengeance!!!

So anyway, I’ve always been a big fan of anime, that just being my generation. I remember watching Dragon Ball Z on Cartoon Network’s "Toonami” segment after school. Or after that Yu Yu Hakusho, or some spin off of Gundam that they were running that year. Recently I ran into one that I just love! Samurai Champloo. Directed by Shinichirō Watanabe (of Cowboy Bebop fame) so I thought to myself, what isn’t going to be good about this series? Turns
out, it’s all good.

The show follows two vagabonds (Gin, a ronin with a sordid past and Mugen, a gun for
hire of sorts with an even more sordid past) who lose a coin toss to a waitress
(Fuu, a recently orphaned girl of 18… I think…) and must go on a quest with her
in search of a “Samurai who smells of sunflowers”. The story goes on through their
adventures from Edo all the way down to Nagasaki.

In watching the show I noticed an homage to Yojimbo in a two episode
series. Now I’m not going to tell which episodes or the situation, you valiant
fans of my blog should know off the bat after you see the first 5 minutes of
the episode which one I’m talking about. However, I will say that while it does
go along with the Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars plot line, the
writers played with it in a very fun anime way, or at least I thought so… and
this is my blog, so there!

Samurai Champloo is a must watch for any core anime fan, or just if
you want to see a really well done adult cartoon series. It not only is very witty
and fun, but also knows how to put drama into things—as well as a little
PS the whole series is on youtube for free, and on netflix instant play, so there are
no excuses for not at least watching the first episode.
DV out…
but not for long! Oh, and if you’re really interested in the anime/manga thing
email me, I’ll get you a list of my top favorites.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Criterion Collection/Janus Films

So pretty much the BEST when it comes to everything movies. Oh, BTW, this is a recommendation, not a commercial. However, if Criterion approached me and asked me to do one... I would be like HELLS^YEAH!!!!

Anyway... Criterion is probably the best when it comes to films. They only put out the greatest anything. Just recently they put out "Paths of Glory", and yes, yes, I know, its been out for like 53 years or something, but Criterion DVD packs come with all those cool little special features and booklets that tell you all you ever wanted to know about the movie, the director or maybe even some cool tid bits about the actors in it. And yes the Criterion "Paths of Glory" is on my Christmas wish list, fingers crossed.

Janus films is--I think-- owned or operated by Criterion, and they help put out a lot of the older movies that Criterion puts out like the Ingmar Bergman movies, most of the Kurosawa films I watch, and much much more.

So all in all check out Criterion, even if you haven't seen any of the movies I've mentioned in my blog, you can at least watch the trailers on their website, oogle at the low prices and dream and hope that one day you own the Akira Kurosawa box set.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kumonosu-jō (Throne of Blood)

Akira Kurosawa and Shakespeare are on the exact same wave length, and this re-imagining of one of Shakespeare's greatest and bloodiest plays, "Macbeth" goes to show it.

It is set at Spider Castle, which is situated at the edge of a hunted forest--Spider Forrest. Lord Tsuzuki (King Duncan) received the news of his troops victory over the rebels and of brave Washizu's (Macbeth; played by Toshiro Mifune) courage and instrumental help in the battle and decides to give him a promotion and make him lord of the North Castle who's former lord was forced to commit seppuku because of his disloyalty to Lord Tsuzuki. Mean wile, as Washizu and his close friend Miki (Banquo) are returning from the battle they are both for told of the future events by a evil spirit in the forest (standing in for the Weird Sisters): Washizu is to become lord of the recently fallen North Castle and later be lord of his master's land while Miki's son is to later be lord of his masters land. When Washizu and Miki arrive back at Spider Castle they find, to their surprise, that part of the fortune for told to them came true. Washizu then tells his wife of the fortune and their acquirement of the North Castle and the story unfolds.

One of the main differences between this movie and "Macbeth" is that Washizu is arguably less evil then the famed Thane, however his wife, is arguably even more evil then Lady Macbeth is. Instead of Macbeth hiring three murders to kill Banquo, Washizu's wife--unbeknownst to Washizu--has a gaurd carry out the deed.

I must admit that Toshiro Mifune is one of my favorite actors, and he only cements his greatnesss to me in this film. Really does play Washizu to a tee, and sometimes I am even convinced that Mifune himself is a madman.

I strongly recommend this play to anybody. You don't have to know the "Macbeth", Shakespeare, Kurosawa, or Mifune to really understand the film. It simply is an awsome work of art. I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


One of Terry Gilliam's greatest, and the first film I have done preformed in my native language. The film takes place in a dystopian society, where all anybody cares about is their credit score and what they will buy for Christmas. The film follows Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce), who works a dead end job in the Ministry of Information and is plagued by frequent day-dreams of saving beutiful maidens.

Sam gets caught up in a government mix up when he meets what he thinks to be the love of his life and a suspected terrorist, and thats about all I can tell you without ruining the rest of the movie for you. Just watch it, its really good!

This film is a funny and slapstick humor filled attack on capitolism and governmental buracracy. Once Sam is even told to "Confess or this will serously damage your credit score." The film does bring about a few great points on how the western civilizations might be losing what really maters in life, not botox but love and human relationships.

All in all I'd give this movie a 7.5 out of 10. Some parts do tend to drag, but the beutiful set designs and the wonderful music compositions and top knoch acting leads to great entertainment.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal)

An existential knight, a chess game with death and the ever looming question of "God", don't worry! It's just an Ingmar Bergman film. The Seventh Seal takes place in mideval Sweden. Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) is a knight returning from a failed crusade in the Holy Land with his trusty (and sometimes cynical) squire Jons (Gunnar Bjornstrand) to a country ravaged by the Black Death. On their journey back to Antonius' house, they meet up with a family of actors/jugglers that follow them through the forest, the rest has too much to do with how the story ends so I won't give it away.

This film is the beginning of what many people call Ingmar Bergman's "Silence of God" or "Faith Cycle" films. This is strongly supported by the many sprinklings of existential themes trough out the film. Antonius Block is visibly struggling with the idea of god. He says "I want knowledge! Not faith or assumptions, but knowledge. I want god to reach out his hand, uncover his face and speak to me." Constantly during the chess game, he asks Death about the existence of God, who-- if I recall correctly-- does not answer them. At one point, they meet up with a group of knights escorting a witch to be burned who has been accused of consorting with the Devil. Antonius seizes the chance to talk to the witch about the Devil and whether he exists or not. For if he does, who to better know the existence of God then his mortal nemesis. After witnessing the burning of the witch the squire pretty much shoves the existentialism in your face by saying "Who will take care of that child? God? The Devil? The nothingness? The nothingness perhaps?" Do you even need it any more clear where the director/writer is coming from then that quote?

All in all probably one of my favorite movies. The acting is wonderful, the writing is wonderful, and the directing is awesome! Another must see for the Art House movie fan. I would give this movie a 9 out of 10

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yoidore Tenshi (Dunken Angel)

Directed by timless master Akira Kurosawa, this film takes place in the Yakuza run, Taberculosis infested slums of post-war Japan. Alcoholic Doctor Sanada (Takashi Shimura) treats a rising star in the one of the gangs running his town, named Matsunaga (Toshiro Mifune) for a gunshot wound and also diagnosis him with TB. Their relationship in the movie seems to be on rocky grounds at first untill Sanada gains Matsunaga's trust and tries to help him save a young woman from falling back into the hands of a abusive relationship with a recently parolled head hombre of the Yakuza.

I found this movie to be very entertaining and quite before it's time. Kurosawa does a fantstic job of capturing, not only life in post-war Japan and the hardships that the people faced, but also the clash of ideas that came out of the war. The old Bushido morals vs. the new more existential ideas or even at times cynical ideas of a defeated nation. This clash is most evident with the cyincal/jaded Doc vs the passionate youth of Mifune's character. While the Docotor tries to help Matsunaga with logic and teaching him not to just follow passions all of the time, ultimately Matsunaga falls back into old habits and gives into his passions and naive views of his world.

Overall I'd give this movie a 8.5 of 10 a deffinate must see for any Kurosawa fan or someone wanting an introduction to Japanese Cinema, and Kurosawa Cinima itself.